Despite its meager box-office take, John Carpenter's The Thing began to develop a strong cult following after its release on home video. The popularity of the movie eventually spawned a novelization, several comic book miniseries, and a video game "sequel." With a pop culture presence spanning nearly 30 years, it's no wonder that Universal Pictures finally decided to bring the property back to the big screen.
Universal first announced the news that a new The Thing movie was in development in January of last year, with Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. directing from a script by Ronald D. Moore. It was later revealed by Moore that his draft of The Thing was "not a remake" of Carpenter's movie, but a "companion piece" that takes place before the events in the 1982 movie. The prequel will focus on the Norwegian expedition team that first finds the buried spaceship in Antarctica and unwittingly unleashes the shape-shifting alien that R.J. MacReady (played by Kurt Russell) and company encounter in Carpenter's movie.
It was announced last month that The Thing prequel would go into production in Toronto in March and continue through June. Now, two of the stars have finally been revealed. According to THR, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Live Free or Die Hard) will portray a Ph.D. candidate assigned to the Norwegian team after the discovery of the ship, and Joel Edgarton (Acolytes) will star as a rough-and-tumble helicopter pilot, reminiscent of Russell's MacReady. No other cast announcements have been made and there is no release date set at this time.
The Thing prequel will be the third movie based on the short story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell, Jr., originally published in August 1938. The first adaptation, The Thing From Another World, was directed by Howard Hawks and debuted in theaters in 1951. While it was a less faithful adaptation of the source material than The Thing, Carpenter is a self-avowed fan of the movie and used scenes from it in Halloween. Carpenter even adopted the Norwegian expedition team that will be featured in the new prequel from Hawks' movie. In 1973, "Who Goes There?" was voted one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written by the Science Fiction Writers of America. Posted 02.09.10 by BrentJS